Osteopathy Treatment

Osteopathy is a treatment for painful muscles, joints and ligaments which have typically become strained because of an injury or problems with posture. Occasionally there may be an underlying structural issue which increases the chances of injury, or a disease process at the source of the pain. Whatever the cause, as osteopaths we will assess you carefully to decide whether we can help alleviate your symptoms.

Why are you in pain?

Your body will experience aches and pain for a reason. In simple terms this can happen because of the following:

1) Your muscles are too tight and joints too stiff – causing pain


2) Your muscle are too weak and joints too mobile or unstable – also causing you pain

It is an Osteopaths job to assess your condition and find out if your pain is a result of you being a 1 or a 2 or a combination of both.

Osteopathy works to keep your joints moving, your muscles stretched, flexible and strong.

What can you expect?

At your first Osteopathy consultation you will be asked about details regarding your pain and we will carry out a thorough screening of your health in the form of a questionnaire. We will ask you about your medical history and any medications that you are taking, so it is useful if you bring along a list of them with you. In addition to this it helps us if you also have any medical notes, x-ray or scan reports with you at the appointment too. Sometimes we may need to take your blood pressure, reflexes and any other tests that may be required. In most cases we ask you to undress so that we can assess the painful parts and any related areas as part of the examination. We only ask you to remove clothing that is necessary (a gown can be provided for you or you may wish to bring shorts, leggings, loose top or vest.) You may also wish to bring a chaperone with you to your consultation and you are free to do so.

We will ask you to perform some simple range of movements to allow us to detect any restrictions that are contributing to, or causing the problem. From all of this we can make a diagnosis. We will then discuss your treatment options and with your consent commence treatment. Osteopaths use a wide range of manual techniques, using their hands to help decrease your pain. We often advise you on specific exercises which will enhance the effectiveness of your treatment and ultimately reduce the number of visits you will need. Going forward it will be these exercises that enable you to manage at home and maintain your improvement.

How many treatments will you need?

The number of osteopathy treatments that you will need will vary enormously depending on the cause of your pain, how long you have been suffering with it, your age and most importantly how much effort you invest in helping your self.

In general terms we re-evaluate your condition after 3 sessions, we find that many of our patients will be feeling much better or have been discharged by this time. A lot of the time people will continue their treatment after the initial complaint has subsided as they enjoy feeling looser, freer and more able to carry out their work, sports and hobbies.

Are there any side-effects?

For the majority of people we see, they leave feeling more flexible, free, looser and relaxed after treatment and may have immediate pain relief. In some cases a mild aggravation of symptoms is experienced 24-48 hours afterwards so you may feel a little more discomfort. This is quite a normal side effect of any musculoskeletal treatment including chiropractic and physiotherapy as well as osteopathy. If you make sure that you have had enough to eat and drink before a treatment you can also avoid any light headed feelings that are occasionally reported if you are dehydrated or hungry.

When we compare this with the sometimes quite serious side effect of some medications, these minor inconveniences are not usually considered a problem.

The philosophy behind Osteopathy – why it works

Osteopathy was developed in the late 1800’s by Dr Andrew Taylor-Still; he was convinced there had to be a better way to treat people than the medicine that was available to them at that time. He treated muscles and found that symptoms of illness reduced.

The principles behind osteopathic treatment in simple terms are:

  •  Treat the body as a whole, each part effects another.
  •  If the body is not working structurally, its proper function will be affected.
  •  The body has the ability to heal itself, if the barriers preventing that healing are removed.
  •  For healing to occur, good blood flow is vital.

We apply these principles in a modern clinical setting where we find for example headaches resulting from a problem with the neck, respond very well to osteopathic treatment.

For an appointment to see one of our Osteopaths, please call: 01737 248 023

Osteopathy FAQs

We have put together a list of questions below that our customers frequently ask us about osteopathy.

Just click the orange link to read the answer.

Osteopaths offer treatment for the whole body. It may well be that you have heard from a friend or family member anecdotally, how an Osteopath helped somebody with, for example a back, neck or Shoulder problem.

It is not entirely suitable for Osteopaths to give a list of problems that we treat. This is because Osteopaths treat each individual person according to what is found upon careful assessment and examination, it is then that we go on to treat the individual, not just the condition.

If you want to know if we can help with your specific problem please do give us a call or send an email and we can answer any questions you may have. If you are still unsure, we welcome you to book a quick, free of charge consultation to discuss your problem in more depth, then you are free to decide if you wish to go ahead any further.

Here is a list of some of the problems Osteopaths can offer help with, if you can’t find a condition, do get in touch with us to discuss your individual case, Osteopaths can help with a wide variety of complaints:

  • Generalised aches and pains
  • Joint pains
  • Arthritic pain
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic)
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Shoulder and elbow pain
  • Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
  • Rheumatic pain
  • Sports injuries and tensions
  • Circulatory problems
  • Cramp
  • Digestion problems
  • Joint pains
  • Lumbago
  • Sciatica
  • Muscle spasms
  • Neuralgia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Inability to relax

Osteopathy is one of the most frequently used and effective complimentary therapies for pain.

As Osteopaths we treat the cause behind the pain. We view pain as a warning sign from the body that something is wrong. Some people may carry on and try to ignore the pain hoping it may get better on its own, but if you see an Osteopath for help you can be given some hands on therapy and get some good advice to reassure you. Pain is due to an imbalance in the body and whether it is due to an accident, injury or poor posture, having Osteopathic treatment will create the right environment for the body to correct and heal itself.

If you are suffering with aches and pain your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong.

In really simple terms this may be because of two things. First your muscles could be overly tight and your joints too stiff or your muscles maybe weak and joints are too unstable. Both these situations may cause you to suffer and an Osteopath will be able to tell you what is happening with your body and give treatment and advice to help with it.

It is all too often the case that we do not look after our bodies, over the years we can let our muscles and joints become out of condition. Like anything in life if you don’t look after it, it will eventually go wrong, giving you problems.

People commonly find that sometimes you can build up a lot of tension in the neck and shoulders. One day you may find that you cannot move as well as you used to. Simple things like bending down to pick something up become difficult and your back seizes up. Perhaps when exercising you feel sore and stiff after. Sadly we tend to put up with these aches and pains, aching neck and shoulders, stiff and sore lower backs. It isn’t just something we have to learn to live with, or just the stress and strain of work, something can be done. We can help you, all this and more, is treatable and can be prevented with Osteopathy.

Osteopathy keeps your joints moving and your muscles flexible supple and strong and as a result, pain-free.

Yes it does! Please take a look at what our patients have to say about us in our ‘Patient Testimonials’ section

Still not convinced? Why not call or email us and we can put you in touch with one or our ‘Osteopathic buddy’ patients who are willing to answer any questions you may have.

Osteopathy is benefiting a growing number of the population. There are more than 4000 osteopaths registered with the GOsC. Those practising Osteopaths In the UK carry out more than 7 million consultations every year. Already many people benefit from seeing an osteopath.

Scientific research has proven its effectiveness. A recent Medical Research Council (MRC) trial comparing treatment options for lower back pain (UK BEAM Trial), found that spinal manipulation, added to GP care, is clinically effective and the most cost-efficient option for patients in the UK. (British Medical Association, 1999 UK Back pain Exercise And Manipulation (UK BEAM) trial, Medical Research Council, 2004).

In 2009, The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published draft guidelines for the treatment of lower back pain, including the recommendation of use of manual therapies such as osteopathy, of up to nine treatment sessions over 12 weeks.

Increasingly, osteopaths are working alongside GPs, providing treatment both privately and through the NHS.

The first time you see an Osteopath they will carry out a careful physical examination sometimes incorporating medical equipment to help with the diagnosis. It is quite normal for your Osteopath to ask you to remove some of your clothing and perform a simple series of movements. If you choose, you may have a friend or relative present during the consultation and treatment.

Your Osteopath will use touch to identify points of weakness or excessive strain in your body. You will usually be treated lying on a treatment couch that may be moved up and down during your treatment. Treatments usually combine stretching to ease stiff joints, gentle massage, muscle release techniques to relax tight muscles and rhythmic joint movements.

They may also carry out spinal manipulations. These are short, quick movements applied to joints in order to help restore normal joint function and mobility. This doesn’t hurt and cannot damage or injure you (when carried out by a qualified Osteopath) and you will start to feel a lot better! Spinal manipulation is quite normal and a process that your Osteopath will only use when they have made sure that your body is fully prepared to react positively to this form of treatment.

Our practitioners are fully qualified and registered with The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). Qualifications and practical experience are gained over four years of study to achieve a Bachelor of Science in Osteopathic Medicine - BSc (Hons) Ost Med. Continual professional development is compulsory and ongoing with all qualified Osteopaths to maintain standards set out by GOsC. Through extra training and study, Osteopaths keep up to date with the latest information in the Osteopathic profession and other advances in healthcare.

Your first appointment will last up to 45-60 minutes. Your osteopath needs to know about your health, past and present and you will be asked detailed questions about your complaint/symptoms, medical history, general health and any medication you may be taking. It is very important that you answer these questions accurately and honestly.

with all medical examinations, patients are only ever asked to remove the minimal amount of clothing necessary, so that a thorough examination of the problem area can be made. Patients are generally advised to wear underwear that they feel comfortable in or shorts and light weight top or vest. It will be more beneficial for an Osteopath to be able to examine a patient’s body area. This enables for a more accurate diagnosis and more effective treatment. Women will remain in their bra and underwear but if someone does not wish to undress a pair of shorts and a vest would be fine.

Yes, we offer evening appointments but also offer appointments on Saturday. Evening clinic and Saturday appointments have a tendency to be the most in demand, so be sure to book in advance where possible.

Early riser? Why not take advantage of one of our early clinic appointments before you start your day at work. Just call or email us for an appointment and we will try our best to accommodate your needs.

There are many reasons to seek the help of an Osteopath. Maybe you’re suffering with Stiff, aching or dull lower back pain perhaps at work or after driving you feel sore and stiff.

Do you put up with persistent leg pain or suffer regular headaches? At work whilst sitting at your desk do your neck, shoulders are uncomfortable and aching? Well you needn’t suffer any longer Osteopathy can help.

Osteopathy is suitable for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly, it may be the solution you have been waiting for. Many people are told to just put up with pain because of their age, well you don’t have to. Osteopathy helps restore normal movement and function to the body improving mobility and energy.

Sometimes people are in pain because the muscles in their back have tightened up causing the joints of the spine to become stiff and movement restricted.

One way to restore good movement is for an Osteopath applies a short thrust of movement to the joint, which gently gaps the joints apart. Sometimes a pop is heard, that people identify as the “cracking” of the back. This is quite a normal process, is perfectly safe and will not damage or harm you.

Osteopaths refer to this as manipulation, adjustment or releasing of the joints and this helps restore better movement to the joints of the spine.

The bones of the spine, the vertebra are stacked up one on top of the other in a column. They all move allowing bending and twisting movements of the body. The joints do not directly attach to each other but through a capsule containing fluid. This fluid filled capsule allows free smooth movement.

The fluid contains gas bubbles. When an Osteopath performs a spinal manipulation there is a small separation of the joint surfaces. This happens very quickly, gently gapping the joints to free them up. The gas bubbles to pop as they disperse into the fluid. What this does is relieve pressure and restore motion to the joints.

When having a spinal manipulation you actually feel very little, it does not hurt. Afterwards you feel the benefit, feeling more mobile as the joints are free and loosened off.

The way patients feel after treatment varies between each individual. Some people can feel great, as if their movement is immediately returned with a decrease in their pain, whilst others may feel quite sore for a few days while the body corrects calms down and responds to the treatment. This is due to toxin release. While muscles and joints are rigid and inflexible, the blood flow is disturbed and cannot circulate freely through the affected areas. As a result toxins are deposited in the muscles and joints. When you release the tissues, the circulation is improved; the toxins release into the muscles and can leave you feeling tender, even faint and headachy. This is a reaction to treatment, your body is responding and it is part of the recovery to feeling well again.

Osteopathic treatment should not hurt you at all. If any of the techniques hurt you it is important to tell your Osteopath, so they may alter their technique. It is sometimes the case that your tissues are very inflamed due to injury, treatment may seem a tiny bit sore because of the inflammation and tenderness in your tissues.

Applied correctly by a qualified Osteopath, Osteopathic techniques cannot harm you. All Osteopaths are registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) to ensure your safety. To maintain standards set out by GOsC, through extra training and study, Osteopaths keep up to date with the latest information in the Osteopathic profession and other advances in healthcare.

This depends on the condition the patient presents with. It is totally possible that you could leave your Osteopathic treatment pain free, but this is very rare as most patients visit an Osteopath as a last resort, usually suffering in pain for a long time. The earlier you see an Osteopath, the faster you can recover.

Typically an Osteopathic consultation takes between 30-60 minutes for the first visit and 30 minutes for a follow-up.

This is variable from patient to patient and depends largely on the problem you are presenting with. Sometimes pain can be caused by straightforward short term problems that resolve very quickly in as few as one or two treatments. Others may take more time up to five or six treatments and some cases may require ongoing treatment for life. It depends on how long the patient has had the problem for and the length of time left before getting help. It is impossible to loosen years of built up tension in thirty minutes. For the best results it is advisable to continue your osteopathic care until discharged and come for regular check ups to keep pain free.

The principles behind Chiropractic are that disease within the body originates from restrictions of the spine. This prevents the proper neurological and circulatory supply to the organs and muscles of the body. Chiropractors work to free off the restrictions found in the joints of the spine.

Osteopaths work to free off the restriction in the joints of the spine as Chiropractors do, with similar principles, but work very much with muscles and joints of the entire body, taking into account the influence muscle imbalance and tightness on the working of the body as a whole. Osteopaths aim to ensure lasting relief from pain and the maintenance of positive treatment effects through the addition of self management exercises.

Physiotherapists work similarly to Osteopaths, but they lay emphasis on addressing muscular imbalance with exercise prescription. Each Physiotherapist differs; on the NHS Physiotherapists tend to work closer with exercise prescription due to time constraints whereas private Physiotherapists can work a lot more with practical techniques.

Yes you can, a number of major heath insurance providers will allow you to claim back part of or all of the cost of your treatment. Please check with us beforehand to make sure we are able to accommodate your insurance provider. You may also need a GP Referral letter prior to commencing treatment, please check before booking an appointment with us.

We are more than happy to offer ongoing support and encourage all our patients to contact us after treatment with any questions or queries you may have. We are also glad to offer advice or information that we may be able to help you with regard to referral to other therapies. Please just call or email and we will do our best to accommodate your enquiry.

Chart Clinic offers Osteopathy in Reigate and is located very close to the centre of town, just a short walk away. People do travel from further afield within Surrey and its bordering counties; here is a list of all the places we commonly receive patients from:

  • RH2 Reigate, Dovers Green, Woodhatch, Sidlowbridge, South park
  • RH1 Redhill, Merstham, Nutfield, Bletchingley, Outwood, Salfords, South Nutfield
  • RH3 Betworth, Brockham, Buckland
  • RH4 Dorking, Westcott RH5 Capel, Beare Green, Forest Green, Newdigate, Ockley, Sutton
  • RH6 Charlwood, Hookwood, Horley, Smallfield
  • RH7 Blindley Heath, Crowhurst, Lingfield, Newchapel
  • RH8 Hurst Green, Limpsfield, Oxted, Tandridge
  • RH9 Godstone, South Godstone
  • RH10 Copthorne, Crawley Down, Three Bridges
  • RH12 Horsham, Faygate, Rusham
  • RH19 East Grinstead, Felbridge
  • CR2 Croydon, South Croydon, Selsdon
  • CR3 Caterham, Chaldon, Whyteleafe, Woldingham
  • CR5 Chipstead, Coulsdon, Hooley
  • CR6 Warlingham
  • CR8 Purley
  • GU1 Guildford, Burpham, Merrow
  • GU6 Cranleigh, Ewhurst
  • GU7 Godalming
  • GU9 Farnham
  • KT10 Claygate, Esher, Long Ditton
  • KT11 Cobham
  • KT12 Walton-on-thames
  • KT13 Weybridge
  • KT17 Epsom, Ewell
  • KT18 Headley
  • KT20 Burgh Heath, Tadworth, Kingswood, Walton on the hill
  • KT21 Ashtead
  • KT22 Leatherhead, Oxted
  • SM7 Banstead
  • TN16 Biggin Hill, Westerham

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